21 October 1978 will mark another day, and yet another year, into the mysterious disappearance of Pilot Frederick Valentich; an individual with Class 4 Instrument Rating and numerous flight hours. Skeptics, however say that Valentich was delirious at the time of his so-called UFO “abduction” and was not paying attention to his instruments.


The truth is still out there though.

October always brings a number of UFO enthusiasts to the infamous Pilot Frederick Valentich’s UFO disappearance care for a variety of reasons. Part of it is related to the fact that October marks the month of the incident – so people take it as an anniversary.

For those who don’t know anything about this case or the unfortunate pilot for that matter, here’s a little introduction (from his Wikipedia page):

The Valentich disappearance refers to the unexplained disappearance at around 7:12 pm on 21 October 1978 of 20-year-old Frederick Valentich while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over Bass Strait in Australia. He intended to land at King Island and return to Moorabbin Airport.

During the 127-mile (235 km) flight, Valentich advised Melbourne air traffic control that he was being accompanied by an aircraft about 1,000 feet (300 m) above him. He described some unusual actions and features of the aircraft, saying that his engine had begun running roughly, and finally reported that the “strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.”

Valentich’s 7 minute conversation transcript is also available. You can look for it through Google search or at the Wikipedia page. Here’s a screenshot for your early reference. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance)

Transcript of Frederick Valentich Communication

19:06:14 DSJ Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet. Is there any known traffic below five thousand?

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, no known traffic.

DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, I am, seems to be a large aircraft below five thousand.

19:06:44 FS Delta Sierra Juliet, What type of aircraft is it?

DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, I cannot affirm, it is four bright, and it seems to me like landing lights.

19:07 FS Delta Sierra Juliet.

19:07:31 DSJ Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet, the aircraft has just passed over me at least a thousand feet above.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, and it is a large aircraft, confirmed?

DSJ Er-unknown, due to the speed it’s traveling, is there any air force aircraft in the vicinity?

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, no known aircraft in the vicinity.

19:08:18 DSJ Melbourne, it’s approaching now from due east towards me.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet.

19:08:41 DSJ (open microphone for two seconds.)

19:08:48 DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, it seems to me that he’s playing some sort of game, he’s flying over me two, three times at speeds I could not identify.

19:09 FS Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, what is your actual level?

DSJ My level is four and a half thousand, four five zero zero.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet and you confirm you cannot identify the aircraft?

DSJ Affirmative.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, stand by.

19:09:27 DSJ Melbourne, Delta Sierra Juliet, it’s not an aircraft it is (open microphone for two seconds).

19:09:42 FS Delta Sierra Juliet, can you describe the -ER- aircraft?

DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, as it’s flying past it’s a long shape (open microphone for three seconds) cannot identify more than it has such speed (open microphone for three seconds). It’s before me right now Melbourne.

19:10 FS Delta Sierra Juliet, roger and how large would the – er – object be?

19:10:19 DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, Melbourne, it seems like it’s stationary. What I’m doing right now is orbiting and the thing is just orbiting on top of me also. It’s got a green light and sort of metallic like, it’s all shiny on the outside.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet

19:10:46 DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet (open microphone for three seconds) It’s just vanished.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet

19:11 DSJ Melbourne, would you know what kind of aircraft I’ve got? Is it a military aircraft?

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, Confirm the – er ~ aircraft just vanished.

DSJ Say again.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, is the aircraft still with you?

DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet; it’s (open microphone for two seconds) now approaching from the south-west.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet

1911:50 DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet, the engine is rough-idling. I’ve got it set at twenty three twenty-four and the thing is coughing.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, what are your intentions?

DSJ My intentions are – ah – to go to King Island – ah – Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again (open microphone for two seconds). It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.

FS Delta Sierra Juliet.

1912:28 DSJ Delta Sierra Juliet. Melbourne (open microphone for seventeen seconds).

(An unexplained sound abruptly terminated the voice communications.)

The most interesting part of the conversation is when Valentich described a metallic object orbiting his aircraft. “What I am doing right now is orbiting and the thing is just orbiting on top of me, also it has a green light and sort of a metallic (appearance). It’s all shiny on the outside.” This part was followed by a clang sound, and then total silence.

Meet Adelaide Researcher: Keith Basterfield:

Keith Basterfield is perhaps one of those few individuals who have been pursuing the case so diligently. Since 1978, Basterfield has tried to come up with evidence to support his theories that the pilot’s UFO disappearance was indeed an accident.

He kept looking for records, and what surprises me the most is how he stumbled upon a digital copy of the entire case. More than 315 pages written extensively by case investigators on Frederick Valentich’s incident. How did Keith Basterfield find this record?

He states that you have to go through a 7 step process to download/ read these 315 pages. I know I tried but it did not work for me. If anyone knows an alternative method, or tried something else, point me in the right direction. Here’s the process according to Basterfield:

  • Go to National Archives of Australia.  (CHECK)
  • Click on search the collection. (CHECK)
  • Click on Begin your search. (CHECK)
  • Up comes RecordSearch. (FAILED)
  • In the keywords box type VH-DSJ. (FAILED)
  • Up comes this file. Click on the View digital copy icon. (FAILED)

What I ended up with was an error message stating that my search query did not meet any records. Maybe Basterfield was right and the file was taken down by someone at the other end. Maybe it was just a hoax. How did he “find” the record all of a sudden and why was it digitized and then uploaded at the ‘National Archives of Australia’ website?



Keith Basterfield says in regards to the 315 pages of information, “There was a lot of public speculation at the time of a hoax disappearance but there is nothing in the 315 pages that even suggests that.”

He admits that Pilot Frederick Valentich did not plot or stage a suicide, it was an accident after all. How so? According to the researcher, remnants of the pilot’s aircraft were found scattered around the impact zone 5 years after the incident took place. These parts had partial serial numbers on them, which indicates that the pilot crashed and burned on the fateful evening of 21 Oct. 1978.

Another theory states that the pilot lied to his family and girlfriend that he was off to get some crayfish. He told his senior officials that he was flying to pick up some passengers at King Island. Both statements conflict with one another.

The question, however, is who do you trust? A long time after Valentich’s disappearance into the unknown, four witnesses made a statement which is quite shocking in nature. Here’s an excerpt for your ready reference:

One of the best indications from observers that a UFO was involved in Frederick’s experience came a few years after the event when four witnesses came forward to report sighting both the aircraft and the UFO flying directly above the Cessna. They had hesitated reporting outside their immediate friends because of fear of ridicule. They came forward when they did because the information bore on their conscience. 

An uncle, his son and two nieces were rabbit hunting at Cape Otway. A niece looked up and saw the green light and called to her uncle, “What is that light?” The uncle looked up and answered, “An aeroplane light”. The niece then said, “No, the light above the aeroplane”. Frederick was the only pilot flying in the area at that time. Sight of the aeroplane and object was lost when they flew behind the hills. This sighting completely rules out all speculations and fictitious stories – other than that a UFO was involved in the pilot’s disappearance.

Whether Frederick Valentich was delusional and met an accident, or he was indeed abducted by UFO’s, it still remains a mystery. On the fun side, at least someone from his family can say, “My uncle was abducted by the Aliens!”